3 Jul 2014

King's son discharged without conviction

10:24 pm on 3 July 2014

A spokesperson for Maori King Tuheitia's son - who has been discharged without conviction on four charges - says the judge's decision recognises the uniqueness of the Maori King movement.

Korotangi Paki, 18, has pleaded guilty to two burglary charges and one of theft from a car, and an earlier charge of drink-driving.

At the Auckland District Court on Thursday, Judge Philippa Cunningham placed conditions on the discharge without conviction, saying she was concerned about the high blood alcohol level.

Judge Cunningham said it was twice the allowable limit for an adult, and more than four times the legal limit for a youth.

Mr Paki's lawyer Paul Wicks argued that a conviction for any criminal offence would hurt his chances of succession or of becoming a custodian of land for Tainui iwi.

The prosecution argued that the discharge without conviction would give the impression that status made a difference to the outcome of a case.

Judge Cunningham said affidavits in support of Mr Paki included one from his father, who made it clear he would have no chance of succeeding him if he had any conviction at all.

Tukuroirangi Morgan, a spokesperson for Mr Paki, told reporters the decision recognises the uniqueness of the Maori King movement and it was the right one.

"Today is about reigniting the uniqueness of Maori. More than that, a recognition of what is compellingly different about the Maori King movement."

Mr Morgan says Paki is at a turning point because he is about to become a father.